Sharon lives in Chiga, a rural area in Kisumu County, Kenya. Commonly referred to as the “Sugar Belt,” the majority of Chiga's population predominantly relies on their sugar cane plantations for a living.
Kisumu County has a population of 1,118,000 (KDS 2018) and has some of the highest rates of HIV prevalence in Kenya. According to the Kenya HIV Estimates 2015, HIV prevalence in Kisumu is 3.4 times higher than the national prevalence at 19.9 percent.
Women in the county are at greater risk of HIV infection than men: the HIV prevalence among women is 21.2 percent compared to 18.3 percent among men.
Sharon lost both her parents at an early age. Despite this, she successfully completed her high school education but was unable to afford her college fees.
When Sharon was 20 she married and had a baby. To provide for her baby, she did household chores for neighbors.
Sharon joined a DREAMS ICT and media training project, where she was learned how to develop and use media content for community advocacy and engagement.
She is currently employed at a non-profit organization in their community outreach department working with young women and men on public health issues.
This profile is taken from the PEPFAR Kenya “Our Lens Sauti Zetu (Our Voices)” photo book — a compilation of images captured by DREAMS girls highlighting their own stories.
The following DREAMS girls were the eyes behind the lens and beautifully captured the stories of the young women featured in the project: Dorcas Akinyi Onyango, Agnes Wanjiru Mugure, Flovian Atieno, Faith Akumu, Francisca Ndinda, Effie Awino, Fatuma Lando, Dorothy Oyuga, Linet Odira, Hellen Atieno.
Text and images from “Our Lens Sauti Zetu (Our Voices)” are used with permission from PEPFAR Kenya. Learn more about Girls with DREAMS.
Data on school-related gender-based violence in Kenya.
This booklet will give you the tools you need to help SPOT and STOP violence in your home, school and community! You’ll learn the different ways that kids experience violence, and what they, their families, communities, and YOU can do.
Every October 11, we celebrate International Day of the Girl to recognize the achievements, opportunities and challenges impacting girls and young women everywhere.
Six ways to celebrate 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
To commemorate International Day of the Girl, Together for Girls co-hosted a high-level event at the Embassy of Canada, “Data to Action: Breaking the Cycle of Violence Against Girls”.
The photo exhibition, “Champions for change”, brings together personal stories showcasing how individual action can lead to a collective and forceful nationwide movement against gender-based violence.
Across Kenya, PEPFAR’s DREAMS partnership is supporting young women to lead safe and healthy lives free from HIV.
"I now live in my own house and my sisters are back at school. Thank you for giving me hope."
“I am now a rice farmer who is independent and can fight for my rights and those of others.”
“I am grateful to be able to afford to buy my medication and earn a living at the same time."
“If it weren’t for DREAMS I would be a drop out or a drug addict."
"DREAMS gave me a new lease of life – I have my confidence back, I’m independent, and can pay my siblings fees and house rent. I can now live AIDS-free.”
"When my dream of becoming a teacher came true, everyone in my community, including my husband, was very proud."
“I was in a place where I could not be seen but I am now visible."
"I now make hair locks, get paid and save, and hope to have a salon of my own. Getting involved with DREAMS gave me hope and skills to become independent.”
“I now practice photography as a career and I get jobs and get paid for it."
“I was able to sit for my national exams and proceed with my nursing course because of DREAMS support.”